Do I have to pay back my employer for their accounting mistake?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Do I have to pay back my employer for their accounting mistake?

I work for a contractor for the us government. My benefits include 80 hours of PTO a year awarded on the anniversary of employment. When I was hired they informed me and those I was hired with that they were trying something new and instead of an 80 hour dump they would be having the hours accrue every pay period semi-monthly. The contract is ending on 11-31 and they realized that they have awarded us more then the allowed PTO hours. And informed us that if we used any of this extra hours we will need to pay the company back before the company departs and the new contracts begin. We were informed all money owed will be removed from our last check with this company.

Asked on October 19, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to repay them any money (e.g. the value of PTO) which you received but were not entitled to. The law is very clear that a mistake does not let you keep someone else's money. Just as if you forgot you'd already paid your credit card bill and sent them a second check, the card issuer would have to return the money or at least credit it against the next month's bill (reducing what you have to pay, and so in effect returning it to you), if you receive money or benefits to which you are not entitled, you must return them.

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